The White House published a 12-page report Thursday reviewing the botched withdrawal of American military forces from Afghanistan.
Kirby wasted no time placing blame on the administration’s Republican predecessor for the dramatic failures in Afghanistan from August 2021.
“Transitions matter. That’s the first lesson learned here. And the incoming administration wasn’t afforded much of one,” Kirby told reporters at the top of his remarks.
The nation’s capital of Kabul fell to Taliban control within days of the American withdrawal, with U.S. forces leaving behind $85 billion in military equipment under President Joe Biden’s command. Amid the chaos at the Kabul airport, wherein images of evacuees who clung to airplanes on takeoff shocked the globe with a stunning illustration of American decline, 13 U.S. service members were killed alongside more than 100 Afghans in a bombing. The attack marked the deadliest day for American troops in Afghanistan in more than a decade.
The 12-page document put out by the White House includes four pages blaming former President Donald Trump for the carnage in Kabul.
“President Biden’s choices for how to execute a withdrawal from Afghanistan were severely constrained by conditions created by his predecessor,” the document reads.
The Biden White House placed fault on the Trump administration for providing “no plans for how to conduct the final withdrawal or to evacuate Americans and Afghan allies.”
An estimated 78,000 Afghans who worked for American forces over the 20-year war were left behind amid the fallout, according to a report from the Association of Wartime Allies published last March.
“This experience underscores the critical importance of detailed and effective transition
coordination, especially when it comes to complex military operations for which
decisions and execution pass from one administration to the next,” the White House report reads.
Instead of acknowledging the mistakes made by the president ahead of the humiliating withdrawal, Kirby touted Biden’s supposed leadership.
“President Biden led a deliberate, rigorous, and inclusive decision-making process that was responsive to facts on the ground,” Kirby said. “He focused keenly on the need for proper planning.”
The end result was tens of thousands of Afghan allies left behind and 13 dead American servicemembers.
Regarding the withdrawal, one reporter asked Kirby, “What mistakes does the president believe he made?”
“I’m not going to speak for the president on that score,” Kirby said.